A Pool Quay family got a ‘purr-fect’ surprise after their pet cat returned after a week away from home, having walked five miles from Welshpool.

Hazel Hicks and daughter Claudia Pinchera feared beloved family pet ‘Kitty’ was gone for good after he accidentally hitched a lift into town with a family member and jumped out at the other end.

But having failed to coax the shy feline back after days of searching, they were astonished when he turned up in a garden shed at the family’s home the following week, having made the long journey back home along unfamiliar territory.

“I went out in the garden and he just came running towards me. I couldn’t believe it, I just burst into tears I was so relieved,” said happy owner Hazel.

“He was crying for food so he must have been absolutely starving. He must have been so scared – he never goes near the road and he’s never been into town.”

Three-year-old Kitty had escaped the clutches of Hazel’s son-in-law, having stowed away in a van before darting out of the back at Boys Boden Building Supplies in Welshpool and disappearing into the undergrowth.

“We all rushed out of the house looking for him, but after searching all day he was nowhere to be found,” explained daughter Claudia.

“We went back at 4.15am the next morning and searched all day and into the evening but he was gone and I didn’t think we’d ever see him again. I put posts up on social media and all the local Facebook groups to ask people to look out for him, and we even put up a reward of £100 for his safe return.”

But just when all seemed lost, owner Hazel was delighted when the stowaway Kitty re-appeared in the family’s back garden a full five days after his initial escape.

“It means the world to us to have him back, he’s not just a much loved family pet, he’s a member of the family. I lost my dog to a brain tumour earlier this year so the thought of losing him as well was just terrible,” she said.

With Kitty safely back home, his relieved family say they’ll be keeping a close eye on him, and that he’s unlikely to be heading back into town any time soon.

“He’s still a bit nervous since he got back but he’s settling down again now, I don’t think he’ll be off to Welshpool again in a hurry anyway!” added Hazel.